Articles by " Adam"
16 Oct

KU Celebrates Boss’s Day!

So you know how we’re always talk­ing about fake hol­i­days and how we love them at KU? Boss’s Day isn’t one of those. Boss’s Day is com­plete­ly, 100% real. It was start­ed in 1958 by Patri­cia Haroski of Illi­nois. Her boss was her dad. Appar­ent­ly Father’s Day wasn’t enough. But that kind of explains why Boss’s Day is to Secretary’s Day as Father’s Day is to Mother’s Day. (Did you like that SAT-style anal­o­gy? Yeah, I thought it was pret­ty sweet.)

I have a lot of boss­es here at KU. Like a lot. I’m pret­ty new, so most­ly every­one is the boss of me from time to time. If I worked some­where dif­fer­ent, I would prob­a­bly hate that. I don’t know if you guys have gleaned this about me from my blog entries, but I’m a bit of a know-it-all. In a dif­fer­ent work envi­ron­ment, I would very like­ly not be excit­ed about Boss’s day even a lit­tle bit. For­tu­nate­ly, my boss­es are excel­lent humans of whom I’m very fond. So I’m going to take the oppor­tu­ni­ty of this very very real and not pre­tend at all hol­i­day to say that I appre­ci­ate my boss­es. If this weren’t a card store, I’d prob­a­bly even get them a card. Since it is a card store, though, I feel like that would be redun­dant. And/or super­flu­ous. And/or obse­quious. I’m try­ing to think of anoth­er good word to add here. I got noth­ing.

Come get your boss a card. For real. A good boss is not some­thing to take for grant­ed.

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12 Oct

The Greatest of All Time

Hey blog­fans! I’m back and bet­ter than ever! (And by that I mean that I’m still total­ly awe­some. Duh.)

Today we’re going to talk about the best comic writer of all time, bar none. Sir Pel­ham Grenville Wode­house. In all hon­esty, I think that name speaks for itself. Have you ever heard a fun­nier one? I didn’t think so.

P.G. Wode­house is best known for his Jeeves and Bland­ings Castle nov­els, and wrote and con­tribut­ed to many oth­er works includ­ing jour­nal­ism, plays, musi­cals, and short sto­ries. Wikipedia states (and I wouldn’t quote it if I could put it any bet­ter, but I can’t), “His writ­ing style is notable for its unique blend of con­tem­po­rary Lon­don clu­b­room slang with ele­gant, clas­si­cal­ly-informed draw­ing-room Eng­lish.” Short ver­sion, it’s hys­ter­i­cal. Wode­house has this per­fect way of mak­ing even the most ridicu­lous ver­nac­u­lar sound nor­mal and even the most for­mal lan­guage sound nat­u­ral. Seri­ous­ly, read it if you haven’t. You won’t regret it. I promise.

And for real, Pel­ham. Grenville. Wode­house. Real­ly, though.

Read our beginner’s guide to P.G. Wodehouse’s books here.

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26 Sep

Another Awesome September Birthday!

So I know you guys are prob­a­bly get­ting tired of read­ing my blogs entries (lol, as if.), but I’m total­ly blog­ging at you again, this time about one of my favorite poets, T.S. Eliot. In the inter­est of full dis­clo­sure and to be more exact, Eliot is actu­al­ly my fourth favorite poet (after Coleridge, Byron, and Ten­nyson), but that’s still top five and he’s incred­i­ble.

Almost every­one has at least heard of The Waste Land, even if they haven’t read it, and that’s because in a lot of ways, it’s a poem that defined its gen­er­a­tion in addi­tion to being a poem which defined its artis­tic move­ment. As far as Mod­ern poet­ry goes, it’s hard to com­pete with Eliot’s work. I don’t need to and won’t go into full on lit­er­ary crit­i­cism mode, but The Waste Land’s illus­tra­tion of the angst, dis­il­lu­sion­ment, and des­o­la­tion remains a pow­er­ful and salient image 90 years after the fact.

That’s good writ­ing. Some­thing to aspire to.

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22 Sep

Happy Hobbit Day!

So. Tolkien Week cul­mi­nates today in a cel­e­bra­tion of Hob­bit Day, since Sep­tem­ber 22nd is Bil­bo and Frodo Baggins’s shared birth­day. Hob­bit Day is unsur­pris­ing­ly awe­some, since Hob­bits freak­in’ rule. You’d think, con­sid­er­ing my nerdi­ness (which can con­ser­v­a­tive­ly be described as intense), that I would have been active­ly engag­ing in Hob­bit­ry since a young age, but I’ve real­ly only recent­ly begun to embrace my inner halfling.

And by ‘inner’ I kind of also mean out­er. Like a hob­bit, I enjoy food, music, leisure, peace and qui­et, food, occa­sion­al adven­tures, food…you get the idea. I even have hairy feet. Though not hob­bit-hairy. That’d be kind of weird.

Basi­cal­ly what I’m try­ing to say is that though Tolkien Week as a whole has been epic and though all of Tolkien’s works are wor­thy of cel­e­bra­tion (Seri­ous­ly, read The Unfin­ished Tales if you haven’t. They’re fas­ci­nat­ing. Also if you feel like being total­ly incred­i­bly nerdy (which, why wouldn’t you?) read The Sil­mar­il­lion. Look, I know. But it’s awe­some. The his­to­ry of Mid­dle Earth is what makes Tolkien and LotR so impres­sive.), The Hob­bit and hob­bits have a spe­cial place in our hearts.

Hob­bits are eas­i­ly the most relat­able char­ac­ters in LotR.  In a uni­verse where even the Men are pret­ty much super­heroes, it’s nice to have some char­ac­ters whom read­ers can see as nor­mal.  In a lot of ways, I think hob­bits are what make Tolkien’s works the lit­er­ary giants that they are.  In the same way, the lack of hob­bits is what makes so much oth­er fan­ta­sy seem hack­neyed and trite.  With­out the very human and even mun­dane ele­ment the hob­bit char­ac­ters provide, the might of Gan­dalf would seem run of the mill.  The strength, resilience, and stature of Aragorn would be dimin­ished.  Every non-hob­bit char­ac­ter would sud­den­ly be less fan­tas­tic.  That’s why hob­bits rock.  From a lit­er­ary stand­point, any­way.

From a non-lit­er­ary stand­point, hob­bits rock because they eat 6 meals a day and pret­ty much just gar­den and hang out in between meal times.  Who wouldn’t want that life?

I know I do.

Check out this year’s Tolkien Week Quiz after the jump!

Read more »

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18 Sep

Ahoy me hearties!

Avast, ye scurvy dogs!

Shiv­er me tim­bers, it be Inter­na­tion­al Talk Like a Pirate Day! Ready your sea­men, board your ship, and sail down to Kards Unlim­it­ed for all your Pirate par­ty­ing needs. Not to men­tion saucy wench­es and grog galore! Be advised there be dan­ger­ous maraud­ers about, so bring along your cut­lass and pis­tols and be pre­pared for a skir­mish!

Whether your favorite pirate is Long John Sil­ver, Cap­tain Jack Spar­row, or Cap­tain Hook, we want to hear your best pirate impres­sion! Rumor has it Bren­dan will be talk­ing like a slight­ly dif­fer­ent kind of Pirate, so you’ll absolute­ly want to come down and see that as well.

Hope to see you there!

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12 Sep

Fantastic Mr. Dahl and Other Stories

Roald Dahl is some­how one of the most loved and most obscure writ­ers ever. This phe­nom­e­non prob­a­bly has some­thing to with the fact that, in addi­tion to being an amaz­ing author, he was a fight­er pilot and intel­li­gence offi­cer dur­ing WWII.

Let me repeat that for you.  A fight­er pilot and intel­li­gence offi­cer dur­ing World Frick­in’ War II.  (And, point of inter­est, not only a fight­er pilot but a fly­ing ace.  In case fight­er pilot wasn’t cool enough for you.)

Point being, Mr Dahl obvi­ous­ly had a lot of expe­ri­ence being both dash­ing­ly hero­ic and a secret nin­ja.  I can’t go into all the amaz­ing­ly dope things Roald Dahl did in his life here, because you’d be read­ing for years, but suf­fice it to say that five min­utes worth of research into this man’s life will cause you to won­der what you’ve been doing with your life a min­i­mum of three times.

Inter­est­ing­ly, Dahl’s work is prob­a­bly best known (in this coun­try) through film adap­ta­tions.  Dan­ny DeVi­to and Rhea Perl­man are hys­ter­i­cal as Matilda’s dead­beat par­ents, Anjel­i­ca Hus­ton frankly dis­turbs as The Grand High Witch, George Clooney is — there’s no oth­er appro­pri­ate word — fan­tas­tic as Mr. Fox, and Gene Wilder is icon­ic as Willie Wonka.  That’s not to men­tion Dahl’s dozens of oth­er works, includ­ing his work for Alfred Hitch­cock Presents, and his many works that weren’t adapt­ed to film. All the­se movies are great fun, but the books they’re based on are out of this world.

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10 Sep

George R. R. Martin’s Nameday Celebration!

Sep­tem­ber is a mon­th of many fan­tas­tic birth­days (includ­ing that of yours tru­ly). One that has become more notable in recent days is that of best-sell­ing author and world-class lit­er­ary sadist (seri­ous­ly, no one delights in my psy­cho­log­i­cal anguish on behalf of his char­ac­ters like this guy) George R. R. Mar­t­in.

Mar­t­in has, of course, been delight­ing audi­ences with A Song of Ice and Fire for years (the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones, was first pub­lished in 1996 and was #1 on the New York Times best­seller list in July of 2011), but the air­ing of HBO’s hit tele­vi­sion series in April of last year caused a fair­ly mete­oric rise in Martin’s pop­u­lar­i­ty.

I love Mar­t­in for his chal­leng­ing but acces­si­ble prose, his incred­i­bly well-imag­ined fan­ta­sy world, and for the com­plex polit­i­cal sys­tems that he presents. I real­ly appre­ci­ate what his best-sell­ing works have con­tribut­ed to the legit­i­ma­cy of fan­ta­sy, which is a gen­re that tends to be sneered at in some cir­cles.

Here at Kards Unlim­it­ed, we sell both A Song of Ice and Fire, the Game of Thrones graph­ic nov­el, and A Feast of Ice and Fire, a com­pan­ion cook­book to the series, which fea­tures recipes for many of the foods men­tioned in Martin’s books. It’s like Mas­ter­ing the Art of French Cook­ing, except Wes­t­eros is bet­ter than France in lit­er­al­ly every con­ceiv­able way.

Why not cel­e­brate this man’s awe­some writ­ing tal­ent on his birth­day, Sep­tem­ber 20th, by curling up with your favorite book from A Song of Ice and Fire and a home-cooked Wes­t­erosi meal? Now that I men­tion it, I think I will.

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